I have always thought of myself as a realist. Even I can't call myself an optimist but I certainly wouldn't call myself a pessimist. Just because I prepare for the worst doesn't mean I can't expect the best. Take my writing for example. I don't expect anyone to publish anything that I'll eventually send them. That doesn't stop me having fantasies of being rich and famous - but I know they'll stay just that, fantasies. And just because I don't believe I will get published doesn't mean I will send out half done work. I might expect the worst but in this instance I'm preparing as much as I can for both outcomes - making the work as good as it can be and preparing my mind for the knowledge that I won't get accepted. Afterall, almost every writer I've ever read about has said they have been rejected repeatedly. Therefore I don't much care that I will get rejected. I can see how this could be seen as pessimism but for me, not caring doesn't mean I won't try. If I never tried then I would classify myself as a pessimist and a failure. A failure is someone who doesn't try. I'm going to try. Just because I don't expect to be accepted doesn't mean I shouldn't give it a shot. I could expect to get published but that wouldn't stop me from getting accepted so why does expecting to get rejected stop me from getting published? Unless I didn't bother trying because of it.
So to recap this very confusing post - I am not a pessimist, nor am I a failure. You don't have to expect the best for it to happen and I believe expecting the best can be very devasting when it doesn't happen. But the important thing is to KEEP TRYING ANYWAY.